“If we understand LEED Green Building Concepts in a factual way, the cost is not an issue”

Photo: Comfit Composite Knit Ltd.

Bangladesh currently boasts the greenest garment factories in the world.  Green industry initiative is a major driver toward sustainable industrial development around the world. Bangladesh has been working towards industrial transformation in the current period of globalization, with the goal of becoming a middle-income country.

In Bangladesh, the RMG industry is critical to the country’s industrial growth. Bangladesh’s garment industry rose to international prominence in a short period of time. Bangladesh is the largest garment exporter among the Southeast Asian countries and the world’s second-largest.

According to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the country now has 48 platinum green factories, 99 gold,  10 silver and another 4 LEED-certified factory buildings. More than 500 garment factories are waiting for the LEED certification from the USGBC. With this number, the common question usually arises, whether the Green factory is profitable or only costly.

It does not cost much to build a green factory. It is possible to subsidize all costs related to consultancy and certification if we consider upfront savings and ongoing savings against the investment. The LEED rating system has a total of 100 points and an additional Bonus of 10 points. 40+ (Green certified), 50-59 (Silver), 60-79 (Gold), 80+ (Platinum). If any factory fulfills some mandatory prerequisite like energy meter installation, Digital water meter, air condition system with fresh air, & some other policy-related issue and gets 40 points then it’s become a green factory. So in a sense, to be green certified, it’s not very expensive and tough process at all.”

Here is the summary of ‘Cost of New Green Building’-LEED BD+C v4 for New Building Credits and Points Detail:

The United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC), BD+C v4 LEED Rating System has 12 Mandatory Requirements (Prerequisites) which have to be met to qualify for certification and a total of 110 Points in 9 Categories.

Out of 12 Prerequisites, only 3 Prerequisites have costs and the other 9 Prerequisites have no or very minimal cost. When projects meet all Prerequisites then projects can achieve 55 to 60 + LEED points from 110 LEED points with no or minimal cost and Consultant work. 35 points required cost but we will only recommend those that have a good Rate of Return (ROI – 3 to 5 years) or very good Environmental or Health benefits. 14 points are not possible in Bangladesh.

See more in the video: Green Building Cost in Bangladesh

Motivations to go to the green garment factory are environmental safety, a safe working ambiance, reduced energy use, the plant’s reputation, and enticing consumers. The key hurdles for green transformation and sustainable growth in this industry are huge infrastructure, high maintenance costs, increased manufacturing costs, and a lack of green-financial assistance. Apart from that, fair pricing, green priority orders from clients, and favorable government regulations can have a significant impact on the green shift and sustainability of green clothing companies.

The “Go Green” concept has been recognized as a role model by Bangladeshi textile entrepreneurs. The future expansion of green clothing manufacturers is largely reliant on fair prices, a collaborative effort by brands, buyers, policymakers, and the government’s decisive and supporting role. We believe this journey will keep going and Bangladesh will get recognition as a green country.

Author: Mr. Ananta Ahmed is the pioneer in Green Building Consultancy in Bangladesh and he is the only person in the world who has 5 USGBC Credentials (LEED AP) with USGBC Faculty status and SILVER membership with USGBC. He is providing a full range of consultancy services to 85 + companies with 225 + projects with 35 + Million sq. Ft. in Bangladesh.